PitchWars was a mentorship opportunity by published mentors (or about-to-be-published) for writers either about to query or whose querying was going nowhere and needed help. The brainchild of Brenda Drake, it grew beyond her and took on a life of its own. After 10 years, they announced this morning that it would be ending — as would #pitmad, their twitter pitching opportunity.
I found the community in 2017. Wait — scratch that — I found the twitter pitch party in 2017, and then, a week before the mentorship applications were due, I found out that #PitchWars was much more than a single tweet. I found a Facebook support group for hopefuls and joined. I helped found a spin-off group for YA-specific writers, so we could analyze and stress and pick the right mentor to submit to, together.
After not getting picked, I ended up admin of both of those groups, and later, a Query Team of former hopefuls (including some that had actually been through the mentorship, but didn’t walk away with an agent. An agent was never promised.)
I’ve found critique partners, support, a community. Friends.
I’ve seen my fellow hopefuls: traditionally published, self-publish, draft and query new and exciting stories as their craft skills grew, and some move on to other endeavors. Writing is a craft of passion – but also persistence in an industry that promises nothing, and where few come out on top, but many can at least get their work out there to new readers.
When I woke up this morning, I wasn’t expecting this news. But with the stressors of the last few years — the outcry and pushback after attempted growth — and monetization that was quickly walked back, the current industry, other mentorship programs popping up, plus the insurmountable tweetstorm of #pitmad that overwhelms many agents, I understand where they’re coming from. Like a good novel, I can look back and see the signs, even if I didn’t know it was coming.
I just want to say “Thank You” to PitchWars for helping me find my community, for keeping me ever-striving and growing with my writing. Despite having never been a mentor nor a mentee, you will always have a special place in my heart.